2022 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors: Peter Vogel, IMD 

Peter Vogel


“Since joining IMD, Professor Vogel has energised the Family Business center. As Director he has massive credibility with this global community driving the research agenda and fund raising while bringing the topic into the heart of the IMD MBA. I have seen how he as invested so much time with students from Family Businesses, even though they may not immediately return to these businesses and I can see how he helps students not from that background understand the special opportunities and culture that awaits them in any of the huge number of very significant family businesses around the world. Peter takes a hand’s-on approach to helping those interested find jobs in FBs.” — Sean Meehan

Peter Vogel, 38, is IMD Professor of Family Business and Entrepreneurship and holder of the Debiopharm Chair for Family Philanthropy at IMD. He is also Director of the IMD Global Family Business Center. 

Vogel works with families, owners, boards and executives of family enterprises and family offices around the world, focusing on transformations, governance, ownership and leadership succession, wealth management, fostering entrepreneurialism and innovation within the system, and on establishing professional boards and leadership teams. 

He has published in academic journals such as Entrepreneurship, Theory and Practice, and has written a number of books and book chapters as well as scientific and practitioner-oriented reports. His work has been covered in such media outlets as Harvard Business Review, CNN, Huffington Post, Forbes, Financial Times, and Techcrunch. He has spoken at TEDxLausanne, the Global Economic Symposium, the Family Matters Forum, the Family Business Network Global Summit, the Swiss Economic Forum, the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit, among many others.

He is the founder and non-executive chairman of the Delta Venture Partners AG and is an Associate Partner of the Cambridge Family Enterprise Group. He is part of the expert network of the World Economic Forum (WEF),  and is an alumni of the Forum’s Global Shapers community. He is part of the Futurework Forum, a global think-tank focused on the future of the world of work. He features among the “Top 100 Family Influencers 2020 and 2022” globally by Family Capital. 

Among his numerous awards and recognitions is the Red Herring Europe Top 100, Member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers and Expert Network, and Global Top 100 by the World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


At current institution since what year? 2017


  • ETH Zürich (BSc, Mechanical Engineering & MSc Biomedical Engineering) 
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Exchange scholarship, Biomedical Engineering)
  • EPFL – École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (PhD, Entrepreneurship) 
  • IMD (High-Performance Leadership)

List of MBA courses you currently teach: MBA start competition and Family Business


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I realized that my experience as an entrepreneur was of greater value at a business school than at a traditional university. 

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? In 2020 we published the Family Philanthropy Navigator. In parallel to the award-winning book, we’re preparing academic papers and reports on family philanthropy. This year we’re publishing the Family Office Navigator. This is the second volume of our planned book trilogy. We’re currently conducting interviews with family offices. 

If I weren’t a business school professor… Then I would be a combination of an entrepreneur and advisor to enterprising families.

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? My years as an entrepreneur helped me gain a lot of valuable hands-on experience as a founder, a business owner, and an employer. This is something that business executives, and in particular my clients (owners of businesses), value a lot. It’s not just theory and anecdotal stories that I’m sharing.  

One word that describes my first time teaching: Hmm, that was really long ago during my PhD studies, so I honestly don’t remember.

Professor I most admire and why: I really admire my colleague Cyril Bouquet because not only does he manage to constantly innovate in the classroom and develop new ideas and ways of delivering programs, but he also manages to continue to publish next to his very busy teaching agenda.


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? It’s very different from teaching executives and business owners, which is what I usually do. It’s fun because they all really want to be there and, as such, have the expectation that they will learn something new and relevant in every single session. That challenges us to not standstill. 

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Generous


What are your hobbies? Mountaineering, sailing and other outdoor activities with my family.

How will you spend your summer? Sailing in the Mediterranean and back home in the Austrian mountains.

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Tonga – by sailboat. And Newfoundland.

Favorite book(s): The Big Five For Life, Brave New World, and Breath.

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? Klazz Brothers offer an excellent mix of classical European and Cuban and Afro-Cuban jazz styles. I also love the American a cappella group Pentatonix.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.